We crawled through Tummy Time and how your child should progress through his or her first year. Now, let’s venture into the second year of motor milestones.
In review, motor milestones are age-appropriate gross motor skills that your child develops, which typically occur in a certain chronological order. Attainment of each skill is imperative for the development of adequate muscle strength and endurance required for success of future skills. With each new skill, a child develops the ability to explore their environment in new ways. Environmental exploration is imperative to a child’s growth not only physically, but socially, emotionally, and cognitively. All children develop their own pace, so it is impossible to dictate the exact time or age that each skill should be developed.
From 12 – 24 months of age, a child’s gait becomes smoother and more rhythmical and their center of gravity shifts downward toward the trunk. As a result, their balance improves which allows for development of new motor skills that involve larger muscles of the body. As their bodies become more stable and they are steadier on their feet, new skills begin to emerge such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, and kicking.
All children develop at their own pace, so it is impossible to dictate the exact time or age that each skill should be developed by. A general guideline of skills that are attained by the end of age one include:
- Stand of tiptoes
- Climb up onto furniture unassisted
- Walk forward while holding a large toy
- Walk independently on various surfaces
- Run forward — 10 feet
- Walk sideways — 10 feet
- Walk backwards — 5 steps
- Stand on a 4-inch line with one foot in front of the other
- Walk on a 4-inch line keeping one foot on the line
- Walk up 4 steps (placing one or both feet on each step)
- Walk down 4 steps with the support of an adult’s finger (placing one or both feet on each step)
- Kick a ball forward — 3 feet
- Throw a small ball overhand — 3 feet forward before it touches the ground
- Throw a small ball underhand — 3 feet forward before it touches the ground
- By the end of age one, begins to jump
Please note that your child can develop these skills earlier or later than this time and still be developing normally. I will post some great motor development activities to do with your 12 – 24 month old later this week.